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2020 Year in Review: Incredible Science Stories

To recap 2020, is taking a look back at some of the most interesting stories we’ve covered this year. Today we’re looking at some incredible stories from the world of science.

Scientists Recreate Voice of 3,000-Year-Old Mummy

Nesyamun preparing for a CT scan.
Scientists have used modern technology to recreate the voice of an Egyptian mummy who’s been dead for 3,000 years. During his lifetime, the mummy was a priest whose job was to sing and chant.

MIT’s Smart Diaper Knows When It’s Wet

Illustration of MIT's Smart Diaper based on RFID tags.
Scientists at MIT have developed a “Smart Diaper” that can call for a change when it’s wet. Adding the technology to the diapers wouldn’t cost much and could improve both comfort and health care.

Scientists Find 50,000-Year-Old Neanderthal String

Detail of 50,000-year-old string.
Scientists have discovered a bit of hand-made string that’s around 50,000 years old. The prehistoric string suggests that ancient Neanderthals had more knowledge and skills than scientists realized.

NASA Scientists Control Spacecraft From Home

The team behind the Mars rover Curiosity shown working from home.
Around the world, millions of people on lockdown are having to work from home. Among them are NASA’s scientists – including those controlling spacecraft, and even Curiosity, one of NASA’s Mars rovers.

Scientists Create Glowing Plants

Glowing plants created by scientists in Russia, UK, and Austria.
There are a number of animals that glow in some way – including several kinds of insects and fish. Some kinds of mushrooms glow, too. But plants don’t glow. Now, scientists are working to change that.

Images Show Signs of New Planet Being “Born”

SPHERE image of the inner disc around AB Aurigae
A team of scientists believe they have captured the first picture of a planet being created. The new planet is far outside our solar system and is thought to be a gas giant like Jupiter or Saturn.

Glacier Mice – the Mystery of Moving Moss Balls

The moss is known as a glacier mouse because it moves around on the surface, jolted by the wind
Scientists are struggling to understand the movements of glacier mice – round balls of moss that appear on icy glaciers. Somehow, the glacier mice manage to travel together in ways that scientists still can’t explain.

Undersea Microbes Wake Up After 100 Million Years

Membrane-trapped fluores cence microscopy image o f the samples of U1368 2 H-5 (13Ma) after cell sep aration and cell sorting. H ighly purified microbial cel ls are ready to be analyze d by NanoSIMS.
Scientists have woken up tiny life forms called microbes that are over 100 million years old. The microbes were found in samples pulled from deep under the sea floor beneath miles of ocean.

Proteus: a Plan for an Undersea Research Station

Fabien Cousteau's PROTEUS™. Full view from side.
Fabien Cousteau, a well-known ocean explorer, has announced plans to build a large research station under the ocean. The goal of the project is to become an “underwater version of the International Space Station”.

Polarstern Returns After A Year in the Arctic

RV Polarstern arriving in Bremerhaven.
A ship that’s been frozen into the Arctic ice for the last year has finally returned home. After nearly 13 months, the researchers have gathered more detailed information on the Arctic than ever before. Much of the news is troubling.



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